The Meditation Club at Hamilton College was formed in the Fall, 1997 by Matt Berman, ’98. Before the Meditation Room in the Chapel was created, several locations on campus were used for meditation, including the abandoned Sigma Phi fraternity house and the fourth floor lounge of the Root academic building.

The Meditation Club would hold Zazen sitting meditation followed by discussion and supplemental readings such as Zen Mind, Zen Beginners.

In the fall of 1999, Shinge Roshi, Abbot of the Zen Center of Syracuse (Hoen-ji) made her first visit to Hamilton College, and we have been fortunate to have her as a regular visitor on our campus since that time. A long-time member of Hoen-ji, Togan (Timothy Kohlbrenner) began joining us weekly to support the Meditation Club’s sitting meditation. Togan was an influential figure on Matthew Russell ’11 who went on to become a monk with Dai-Bosatsu Zendo monastery, located in the Catskills of NY state.

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